Powders for post-workout recovery
From anti-inflammatories and superfoods to proteins and electrolytes, this list has everything you need to maximise recovery from exercise
image Scarface, 1983, Universal Pictures
words Rhys Thomas
You should be proud of yourself. You did it, you moved about a bit, you pushed your body beyond boundaries it finds comfortable, you found a slice of time in your busy life to just work on your physical being. This is an admirable start to the year.
But you’re aching. Feels unfair, doesn’t it? Putting in a shift at pilates, the gym, running around the park, only to find yourself walking a bit funny up the stairs and generally aching. The pain is actually a good thing. It means your muscle fibres are ripping slightly, which sounds bad, but they come back bigger and stronger which is good. Remember hearing a bloke saying "no pain, no gain" to you? That’s sort of true, in this instance, except you don’t have to just settle with the aches being as bad as they are. Supplementation can help. From protein powders and amino acids which are designed to help muscles grow (mainly in strength, not mass) and repair, to anti-inflammatories and immune system boosters which help you to replenish after moving about a bit, there’s something to help everyone.
Pre-workout methods to improve post-workout recovery
“Prevention is better than cure”, heard that before? The quote is credited to Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, who apparently coined the phrase in around 1500 AD. The idea is, if we stop something happening in the first place, we don’t have to deal with it at all. Like having a good amount of quality sleep (sensible), instead of staying up all night and trying to remedy it with caffeine (less sensible).
Anyway, the philosophy can be applied to moving about a lot too. Preventing fatigue and increasing energy levels (as well as internal heat) are super useful methods for ensuring we exercise without injury, and that we don’t feel as completely knackered afterwards. Plus, if we’re more energised we’re more likely to go harder in the work out. But taking (the recommended doses) of the following, and warming up properly, can help get you off to a flying start while meaning you need to recover less too.
Nope, collagen isn’t just for plump skin. It's also essential for strength and flexibility in everything from our cartilage and bones to our connective tissue. Of the 10,000 or so different proteins in the human body, collagen is the most abundant. Research has shown we can take collagen daily to boost existing levels. This one is flavourless, dissolves into water or smoothies, and is the first ever vegan collagen powder.
the mushroom that takes over minds
Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom, not the kind you generally find at the supermarket. In the wild, it does this crazy thing where it takes over the minds of insects like ants, and makes them climb trees and then spreads its seeds all over the land. Generally humans use it for these energy boosting properties too. This powder is sourced from high-quality shrooms, add it to a tea or something.
Ways to build better workout recovery at any time
Nutrition is a huge part of making sure our bodies feel good after exertion, and there’s more to it than just having a load of protein. Our body needs to make sure it’s getting all the nutrients it needs. A good way of helping that, alongside a balanced diet (which we should all aim for but is sort of difficult)
Ways to improve workout recovery after your workout
Just like beauty sleep is a real thing, our bodies do some miracles when we're catching Zzzs. A lot of the repair happens at night, so finding time to unwind and prioritise good quality sleep is key. These products can help you toward that.
chill out have some shrooms
Relaxing is a big part of recovering, letting the body do its thing. We can help the body with this process by eating things that promote calming, stress management, and boost our immune system. Reishi is a mushroom which does all three. Ideal
You might have heard of ashwagandha, it’s a plant. The roots are ground up and used as a medicinal herb. Ashwagandha is said to have properties that help calm the brain, reduce swelling, and lower blood pressure. This makes it ideal for helping muscle recovery and getting a good night’s rest.
Just in case!
For a lot of these recovery makers, you’re going to need a shaker. A bottle with a metal ball or mesh that you shake, which binds and stirs the powder into the liquid. Preventing you from having to chug a lumpy concoction. Shakers are great. This one also functions as a stylish water bottle, and has a nice handle.
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